Pine-Richland looks to extend winning streak against Central Catholic
Some big wins last week have some local teams thinking playoffs as the season takes a turn for the second half of action.
Pine-Richland vs Central Catholic at the Wolverana, 7:30 p.m.
The Rams know that the road to the playoffs begins now, and there is little room for error. A win last week that saw the Rams firing on all cylinders has coach Clair Altemus optimistic heading into this big section matchup.
The Rams looked Herculean last week, and the previously invincible looking Vikings looked rather mortal as they were worn down by Seneca Valley.
“We will approach this game like any other ,” Altemus said. “There is something at stake, and we are amped up for it.”
Running back Connor Slomka could be the key, as Central Catholic was ground down by the Raiders' running game a week ago. The Vikings were without two starting offensive linemen and their starting running back.
Vincentian at West Greene, 7:30 p.m.
West Greene got pummeled last week, and the Royals got a good offensive output despite losing to Bentworth.
The combination of quarterback Mile Tappe and tight end Paul Adams is clicking, and backs Danny Kushner and Anthony Della Valle provide a balanced tandem.
What this game could come down to is defense, and Vincentian coach Tim Storino said making tackles is paramount.
“We were in position last week, but did not make half the tackles we should have,” he said. “West Greene is a similar opponent, and win or lose, we should be in this game.”
Shaler at Seneca Valley, 7:30 p.m.
Shaler is looking for its first win of the season, and it will be difficult to grab it this week against a Raiders team that has hopes of a section title. Seneca Valley punished Central Catholic last week, and Shaler struggled at Fox Chapel.
For Shaler to have a shot, it must somehow contain quarterback Jordan Brown and running back Forrest Barnes.
“We have to keep up our effort and sense of family,” Shaler coach Chris Siegle said. “It starts with the seniors, and it starts with me. If we do that, things will trickle down through the youth levels.
“We are building a foundation of effort and heart and look to improve from there.”
Hampton at Hollidaysburg, 7 p.m.
Hampton scored the upset last week and will try to prevent being upset this week. Hollidaysburg ran up 49 points on a hapless Derry squad but will not have it that easy with the Talbots' defense, led by Noah Shulman.
Hampton will have the crosshairs on Holidaysburg quarterback Brian Urban, who accounted for more than 200 total yards last week.
“The most important thing we can do is worry about ourselves,” Hampton coach Jacque DeMatteo said. “We can't take anything for granted.”
Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.